K-Pop Double Take is a weekly review column highlighting recent releases that have yet to receive the attention we feel they deserve.
Just when you think that you have a pretty good idea of who Lim Kim is musically and what kind of material she does, the 21-year-old South Korean singer-songwriter will surprise you.
From her collaborations with Denny Do as the folk-pop duo Togeworl, to a highly eclectic solo career that has ranged from jazz to rock to upbeat dance material, this restless performer has already proved herself as one of the K-pop scene’s most creatively shapeshifting performers in the style and substance of the music she chooses to accompany her voice.
But as is clear on “Upgrader,” the tragically overlooked album cut from Kim’s third EP “Simple Mind,” released on April 27, whatever particular context the vocalist places herself, her own singing style stays pretty much the same.
Listening to Kim’s most material is often a dreamlike experience. A song’s end can feel like the shiver one gets from abruptly waking up from a meditation or any meditative experience.
And while sonically, this inventive artist firmly plants the sound of “Upgrader” in the classic keyboard-driven sound of ’80s electro groups like Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode or New Order along with American TV themes from the period like Jan Hammer’s soundtrack for “Miami Vice” or Stu Phillips equally iconic opening music for “Knight Rider,” she retains that ethereal quality even while quietly rapping over a heavy electro beat.
What is so interesting about Lim Kim, is that instead of needing to transform herself with a new look every week or endless attempts at reinventing her own voice, she has made the unique choice of simply constantly changing up her musical surroundings while being able to remain the same as she ever was.
The results are anything but uniform.
Listen to the song “Upgrader” from Togeworl singer Lim Kim’s seven-song EP “Simple Mind” RIGHT HERE